For the past couple of years I’ve volunteered with the Cleveland Photographic Society ( www.clevelandphoto.org ) to take photographs at Interact Cleveland’s Homeless Stand Down ( www.interactcleveland.org ), a yearly event held to help provide the homeless and others in poverty with warm clothing, personal hygiene products, medical and dental care, food, entertainment and a professional portrait.
Last year, when asked to describe my experience, the following words just flowed out of my mind.
The faces, the faces, the faces….
Some faces of worry
Some faces of despair
Some faces of joy
Some faces of fear
Faces of hunger
Faces of satisfaction
Faces of the elderly
Faces of the young
Faces of children with little understanding of their condition in life
Faces of pride
Faces of assistance
Faces of gratitude
These are the faces that everyone needs to see! Without seeing these faces you only see part of the human condition.
I’m glad I can play a small part in showing the world these noble faces!
I generally oppose photographers working for free, but at the same time I encourage all photographers to find a cause that you believe in and work voluntarily for that cause. You will be rewarded in something much more valuable than money! As winter approaches and gets colder and colder, I know that I will be volunteering again in January for the Homeless Stand Down. While I wish it wasn’t necessary to provide such events, I suppose it always will be and I’ll be all the richer for helping out in my small way.
Having been homeless 7 times in 30 years, my life experiences make me an advocate for the disenfranchised and displaced people living in the streets. I speak out for people who have nowhere to go, remembering my friends who are still sleeping outdoors. Thank God for the homeless shelters and food banks.
Thank you for your insights and I wish you the best! You are right, the homeless shelters provide and invaluable service and part of my aim is to bring attention to the homelessness problem in this country and throughout the world. It’s too easy to just walk by the homeless and ignore their plight!
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